DALLAS – The incredible rise in popularity and value on the secondary market continues for Pokémon Trading Card Game cards.

A rare, sealed Pokémon booster set broke a world record Thursday, September 10, when it sold for $198,000 in Heritage Auctions' Comics & Comic Art Auction.

The Pokémon First Edition Base Set Sealed Booster Box (Wizards of the Coast, 1999) soared well past its pre-auction estimate of $80,000+ during the advance bidding before the auction’s live bidding even began.

“Sets like this one, especially in such extraordinary condition and sealed in shrink wrap, have become undeniable rarities,” said Jesus Garcia, assistant Comics & Comic Art Operations Supervisor at Heritage. “The previous record, of $78,000, at Heritage Auctions was set in February 2019.

Jesus Garcia, Heritage Auctions

Jesus Garcia

“To see this result, more than doubling the previous mark, just shows the popularity and demand for these cards show no sign of slowing down,” Garcia said.

Pokémon trading cards were first introduced in 1995 and rapidly gained worldwide acclaim. What began as a simple card trading game 25 years ago has quickly evolved into a serious collector’s game.

The first set ever made, this record-breaking booster box comes from a very low print and includes 396 cards spread through 36 booster packs, each of which contains 11 cards. Because the set is unopened, it is likely that most if not all of the cards are in Gem Mint condition.

Earlier this year, an ultra-rare Pokémon card given out as a prize in 1998 sold at auction for $233,578, establishing a new world record for the white-hot Pokémon card secondary market.

A PSA-graded mint-9-rated Pikachu Illustrator card sold for a whopping $233,578.

Pikachu Illustrator card.

The PSA-graded mint-9-rated Pikachu Illustrator card shattered the previous record for such a card, $195,000, set just last year. Featuring an illustration by Atsuko Nishida, one of the chief Pokémon graphic illustrators, the card depicts Pikachu holding what appear to be drawing tools. It is considered the most iconic and valuable card to Pokémon

To illustrate how rapidly the collectible Pokémon card market is growing, just four years ago a Pikachu Illustrator card sold for $54,970 at Heritage. 

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